Notebook Stakes (11/14/20)

Aqueduct, Race 7

$100,000 purse going 6 Furlongs on dirt for NY-bred 2-year olds

#1 Storm Shooter 6/1

Was a failed betting favorite on debut geared up to a 76/64 NEG. The follow-up was better breaking his maiden with a slightly more compressed 77/69. However, it's widely accepted that sloppy tracks can often carry speed further than usual so it wouldn't be tough to want to downgrade this one for running almost the same 2F and 4F Figures but running lighter on an “off” track. Even if we ignore that angle and give credit to a 69 Final, half of today's rivals have already run better than that. Imagine it would be hard to find value in this one with a trainer/owner combination sure to take some money.

#2 Market Alert 10/1

A winner on debut with a 75/68 NEG, this one's debut spread was the 2nd most compressed of the field. Connections thought enough of him to try the Grade 2 Saratoga Special which never materialized but did bounce back with the most important Form Cycle Pattern in dirt racing with a 80/69 NPT. Runner owns the fastest Last 4F Figure and 70% of NPT runners improve their Final Figure next out. This one only needs to improve a point or two to be competitive at the wire here and seems to be offering plenty of value to look for that improvement. Runner posted the NPT going Blinkers On for the first time and returns with the equipment here. The general rule is 1st time blinkers should be considered an experiment and if there's an improvement, 2nd time blinkers is a bet all day, every day. Longest odds on the morning line, juicy.

#4 Eagle Orb 3/1

Took a race off regressing off the big 79/72 DTOP second out and was last seen stretching out to a mile. With turnbacks in distance, we can take the “race from within the race” using the 4F/6F Figures from the route. Anytime the 6F Figure from the router is competitive with the sprinters' Final Figures, it's an automatic worthy contender. In this case, Eagle Orb scored a 70/65. It doesn't qualify for our parameters as an automatic contender but is a generally good base for a runner that still had 2 furlongs to run that can now set back down to a sprint here. It's encouraging we have a Back Figure of 72 to run back to here as well. 3/1 does seem fair.

#5 Horn Of Plenty 6/1

Mixed signals. All runners here debuted to a NEG pattern with this one being the most “compressed” of them with a +6 dirt spread. Generally, more compressed runners will beat other 2nd timers next out. However, most of this group has passed that stage. Today's rivals are not only more experienced but can well outrun the 72 4F Figure set by this one and match a much better Final to it as well. There are definitely spots this one would have a running line to be bet but I'm afraid this isn't the correct field unless there's a complete race meltdown.

#7 Blue Gator 2/1

Similar issue as the #1 horse here. If the sloppy track last out carried his speed, we have to downgrade the 70 Final. If the track ran fair, now we have to credit him with a big jump to that 70 and downgrade him off a DTOP. Either way, we seem to be leaning toward an underlay as the morning line favorite. 2 of today's rivals have reached a 70 Final DTOP and both tanked next race out.

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